Roomba iRobot

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iRobot Roomba

Well, it's not really a kitchen gadget, but I love telling people about brilliant gizmos. Since this little wonder arrived, the Dyson has remained in the cupboard - just the odd tidy-up with the Dyson hand-held.

She comes out at 10 am every day, hoovers the floors and then puts herself away. She'll talk to you if she jams-up or needs emptying. (Emptying her after every cycle will almost certainly improve her valuable life). She has a couple of little 'lighthouses' to contain her to specific areas. She's expensive but worth every penny. I think I've fallen in love again!

Amazon seems the cheapest place to buy them.

Cat riding iRoomba (1)

Cat riding iRoomba (2) I recently encountered a problem with my iRobot Roomba 560. She would clean wooden floors without a problem, but when cleaning carpets, she would stop after a few minutes, beep and when activated again tell me "Please remove and clean. Roomba's brushes.".

Cleaning the brushes did not solve the problem, so for the possible benefit of others, here are the steps to take to solve the problem.

The reason for this error code is not because the brushes are dirty but because the brushes cannot rotate freely and are encountering some resistance. Knowing this helps you to resolve this problem.

  • Lay the unit on its back so the single wheel is farthest from you and writing on the base is the right way up.
  • Remove and clean the brushes, paying special attention to removing hair and fluff from either end of both brushes.
  • Remove any build-up of debris from brush holder.

If you still encounter the same error, try the following steps.

  • Using pliers, pull off the small yellow bearings from the right-hand end of both brushes - you will probably find a good deal of debris under this. Clean with a pin. Push the yellow bearings back on afterwards. They don't seem to fit as well after being removed, but they could not be cleaned without first removing them.

If the problem still persists, then it time to clean out the gearbox.

  • Slide out cleaning bin
  • Prise the front facing plastic retaining clips (they hold the non-removable stainless pins) and slide the brush-holder unit out towards you.
  • You cannot completely remove this part because of the wheel lifting wire joining the brush holder to the main unit. Removing this wire is tricky and you can just about disassemble the gearbox without removing the lift wire.
  • Be gentle as there are fairly fragile connecting wires joining this unit to the main assembly.
  • Lift up the right-hand side of the brush assembly to reveal the gearbox assembly.
  • Remove the 6 screws and carefully remove the cover.
  • It's not as scary as it first looks as all of the small cogs are identical so their positioning is fairly easy to work out. Taking a photo will be helpful if you are doubtful about this task.
  • Remove each cog in turn and clean out the debris. I also removed all of the mucky grease out and sprayed the reassembled gearbox with a silicone based lubricant.
  • Refit the gearbox cover and check the brush-holders turn freely.
  • Reverse the procedure to reassemble the brush-holder on to the main unit, taking care not to trap the grey rubber gasket when finally sliding the brush unit into place. The complete brush unit (USA) is available as a spare-part, though this is not a simple task to replace.

For the benefit of other UK readers, please update the Roomba iRobot comments page if you find a UK supplier for this part.

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